Alameda, CA Real Estate News

By Pacita Dimacali, Alameda/Contra Costa Counties CA
(Alain Pinel)
When Alameda Wine Company opened its doors to Alameda CA next to the historic and newly restored Alameda theater, my friends and I started going there for the wine, the cheese and the company. Because Karen, the proprietor, was so good and so knowledgeable, I blogged about her store and posted it on Localism. Next time I went there, she was so effusive with her thanks that she gave me a huge hug a complimentary glass of wine, and a contant flow of thanks. :) All in a day's work as a REALTOR and blogger. With a greeting like that, what do you think it would do to my incentive to keep going there? Don't you think I would apply that kind of greeting and thanks for clients? You betcha!
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By Pacita Dimacali, Alameda/Contra Costa Counties CA
(Alain Pinel)
I am not an "original" or native born Alamedan. Nor do I know everything there is to know about Alameda. But I am making an effort to get to know more about this beautiful island. Having lived in New York, New Jersey, Florida and Texas, and having sampled living in San Francisco apartment by the marina, a virtual warehouse loft by the Oakland Estuary before it was gentrified, and in a cozy cottage in downtown Mountain View, I can say without reservation that Alameda is my favorite of all. My quick and easy resource for what life was and is like in Alameda is our own Alameda Magazine. I especially like it when they feature stories about the history of the city. The January-February 2008 issue was by far the best! The cover was a picture of a lady getting ready to dive in a pool in Alamed...
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By Pacita Dimacali, Alameda/Contra Costa Counties CA
(Alain Pinel)
One of the most difficult and sensitive things to do during a listing presentation is to get the sellers to see and understand the proposed list price. Try as I might, it's still a careful dance especially when there are other realtors competing for the listing. We've all heard of some realtors "buying" the listing by proposing a higher list price to get the listing. It helps to augment a marketing plan with statistics. One of the best and local resources for me is DQNews.com's report on Bay Area Home Sale Activity. Instead of generalizing figures that one reads about, this chart provides a zip code view, and thus more believable at the local level. However, it still requires a comprehensive comparable market analysis to come up with a proposed list price. In Alameda's 94502 zip code, i...
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By Pacita Dimacali, Alameda/Contra Costa Counties CA
(Alain Pinel)
  Welcome, Alameda Wine Company! Alameda, we have arrived! For all oenophiles in Alameda, this is wonderful news indeed! It was a guilty pleasure to go to the Ferry Plaza Wine Merchant at the Ferry Terminal in San Francisco, but we now have our own wine bar next to the Alameda Theater.  Today, a friend and I wanted to take a break after hours so we walked to Alameda Wine Company. That's one of the benefits of being downtown --- we walk everywhere. We were greeted by the very friendly Sal Lirosi and owner Karen Ulrich with whom we chatted up a storm. Although the Alameda Wine Company has been open only for about 18 days, they said they have a very steady stream of people who come before going to the movies, and end up skipping the movies and staying at the wine place instead. Tonight, I ...
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By Pacita Dimacali, Alameda/Contra Costa Counties CA
(Alain Pinel)
LAST RESORT In a last ditch effort to help my sellers who are upside down on their loans and can't pay their mortgages with Downey Savings and National City, I contacted Mortgage Resolutions to see if they can help my clients. Mortgage Resolutions offers, according to them "as full complement of services designed to assist homeowners, agents, brokers and mortgage lender/services in working through delinquent and At Risk mortgages." For a fee of 1/3 the agent's sales commissions, they would have handled all the nitty-gritty details, contacting the lenders, processing the paperwork, etc. DOWNEY SAVINGS: Foreclosure preferable over short sale? Upon mentioning that the first lender is Downey Savings, and that Downey sold the note to private investor, I was told that this is NOT DO-ABLE. Dow...
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By Pacita Dimacali, Alameda/Contra Costa Counties CA
(Alain Pinel)
Folks who haven't yet discovered Alameda may want to come to one of the most fun events in the island -- the monthly Antiques Faire by the Bay http://www.antiquesbythebay.net/. It's billed as Northern California's largest antiques and collectibles show with over 800 dealers. According to theri website, everything sold at the show must be at least 20 years old, and no reproductions are allowed.Whether you're a serious shopper or just want to hang out, this is a good place to be, especially with the City of San Francisco and the Bay as the backdrop, and with the wonderful climate. It's also a good excuse for people to get on their bikes and ride to Alameda Point (some folks from San Franciscos bring their bikes aboard the ferry for this event).Here's what San Francisco Chronicle said abou...
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By Pacita Dimacali, Alameda/Contra Costa Counties CA
(Alain Pinel)
Alameda, in spite of being a small island, has its share of restaurants that tickle the palate. Whenever we want to go out and get something to eat, we fight the urge to go off the island because there are so many to choose from. When I meet new clients who don't know much about Alameda, I take them to different restaurants so that they will see and taste for themselves what Alameda has to offer.Here are the three newest restaurants in town. Life is good!ITALIAN - AcquacottaThe newest addition is AcquaCotta http://www.acquacotta.net/ on Webster Street. They don't take reservations, so we ventured on a Saturday night at 7 pm and waited for a table. It was packed and noisy (concrete floors). But we didn't mind the wait because the bartender was such a joy. She kept us all entertained. Whe...
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By Pacita Dimacali, Alameda/Contra Costa Counties CA
(Alain Pinel)
It's happening! Properties are selling. As a matter of fact, compared to adjoining cities, we're beginning to see brisk movement. HOMES IN CONTRACTIn March, we saw 70 properties go into contract --- and that's the second highest month in the previous two years (June 2006 was ahead by 74). That means that 24 percent of inventory sold that month.Compare that to Berkeley where 54 out of 206 properties went pending, or 18% of inventory, In Oakland, 236 out of 3174 went pending, or 7 % of inventory.SHORT SALES AND FORECLOSURESFrom another perspective, we are also seeing our share of short sales and foreclosures. Out of 163 active residential listings as of May 2, 2008, we have 17 short sales and bank-owned properties or 10% of total. Compare that to Berkeley with 16 out of 120, or 13% of tot...
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By Michael Greenslade
(Better Homes & Gardens | Mason-McDuffie Real Estate)
 1) What's your first name? "Jack"2) Which city do you live in? "Alameda"3) Neighborhood or district within that city? "Point Alameda in the West End"4) Do you own or rent? "I Rent"5) What occupation are you in? "Retail Visual Merchandising, I create department store displays"6) Favorite restaurant? "Croll's - The New Zealander" " Phnom Penh House, a great Burmese restaurant on 8th Street in Oakland"7) Do you have a business you'd like to promote? "Retirement"
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By Michael Greenslade
(Better Homes & Gardens | Mason-McDuffie Real Estate)
In Alameda on Santa Clara Steet just North of Paru Street is the W.W. Dixon creation of Stonehenge, Stoneliegh and Stonefaire.As chronicled in Storybook Style by Arroll Gellner, Stonehenge is an amazing example of a storybook home community.The homes are built around pedestrian courtyards with lush gardens, fountians and benches.  The buildings themsevles are wonderful example of tiny little storybook tudors. The homes look as if they are out of a fairytale and just simply evoke a pleasant feeling.Automobile traffice to the garages to thes units are carried on alleyways around each complex.  This keeps the fronts of the units facing the gardens and the strong sense of community.I went to an open house yesterday there at the Tuesday broker's open.  While walking to the unit, I ran across...
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By Pacita Dimacali, Alameda/Contra Costa Counties CA
(Alain Pinel)
Every summer, for three consecutive months of June, July and August, we have a free outdoor concert each month at Crab Cove,It's a scene that every Chamber of Commerce would die for, and event that residents and their guests thoroughly enjoy.This venue features live performances by different musical groups ranging from rock and roll to jazz to hot latin numbers. Starting at 5:30 pm, people arrive using different modes of transportation. The local Bike Alameda organization even offers bike valet parking. Some do drive and never have any problems parking at the Crown Beach Memorial Park by the beach adjacent to the two dog parks and Crab Cove.There are several picnic areas, but folks seem to prefer spreading out their picnic blankets and packing their choice of snacks. For people who don'...
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By Jean Powers, CRS,e-PRO,HAFA,SFR Broker, Northern California
(Kane & Associates call 510.908.9002)
 I sat in on a meeting last night in my city "Alameda".  This is the second school parcel tax in 4 years proposed for the June ballot. We already have parcel taxes for our library and hospital!  The controversy is that many homeowners are tired of an easy fix to slap another parcel tax on property owners instead of finding a way to tax all citizens in the city. Alameda owns our electric company and there is no reason why they can't impose a tax on our electric bill so that everyone pays for the schools! The problem is that our school board doesn't have a strategic plan and does not want to take the time to research and go forth with other options! The last parcel tax won by 51 votes. If the tax doesn't pass our schools are in trouble!! Wonder if it will pass this time! Do any of you hav...
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By Pacita Dimacali, Alameda/Contra Costa Counties CA
(Alain Pinel)
When I attend one of my sister's soirees at her home in San Francisco and I tell her friends where I live, invariably someone will say, "Ala-where, Ala-what?" I have to tell them that I live in an island city located between San Francisco and Oakland, and to me, it's a paradise. DISCOVER ALAMEDA I live in Alameda, and many of my clients commute to San Francisco. When they couldn't afford to buy in the City, they decided to look to East Bay. It doesn't take them long to fall in love with our picturesque island with its many beautiful Victorians and other vintage homes, small town ambiance. Alameda is such a charming town that is so private and secure, yet so conveniently located for easy access to other cities. Alameda has great climate, great schools, and believe it or not, great food! ...
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By Michael Greenslade
(Better Homes & Gardens | Mason-McDuffie Real Estate)
There I was, on the Tuesday broker's tour for Alameda looking at the listing at 1821 Broadway (one of my clients had shown some fleeting interest in that property).  This little home is near the corner of Broadway and Clement.Across the street on the Northeastern corner of Clement and Broadway there it was.  A little non-descript industrial building.  Done in the Mission Revival style popular at the time.The architect William Raymond Yelland, who is most famous for his storybook style buildings was also dabbling in mission revival also.One of his signature elements was stamped tin weather vanes and other roof ornaments.  On a house built on Euclid street in Berkeley were the startled cat tin ornament along the roof ridgeline, a rooster topped the chimney and a flour de les grace a roof ...
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By Jean Powers, CRS,e-PRO,HAFA,SFR Broker, Northern California
(Kane & Associates call 510.908.9002)
Have a pinic, wind surfing or just walking Alameda's Beach after your children enjoy visiting Crab Cove!  Crab Cove Visitor Center at Crown Memorial State Beach in Alameda features all new exhibits opened in April 2004. You can see bay creatures in the 800-gallon aquarium system, use interactive stations for varying age groups to view microscopic animals, build a crab from the inside out, or get a lug worm's view of the mudflats. You'll see amazing depictions of the underwater world of San Francisco Bay. At the Visitor Center you can also plunge into San Francisco Bay without getting wet, or travel back in time to Alameda's colorful past. These entertaining educational opportunities all have a serious purpose--to increase public understanding of the environmental importance of San Franc...
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By Michael Greenslade
(Better Homes & Gardens | Mason-McDuffie Real Estate)
Floridian Investment Group Buys Rights to Alameda's Lagoons. Mar 27, 2008ORLANDO, Fla. (Mar. 27, 2008) - Floridian Investment Group has acquired the water rights to the lagoon system in Alameda, California."Beginning in the first quarter of 2009, our group will be raising alligators in the lagoons.  The West Coast operations will supply zoos, aquariums and theme parks with alligators" said Joe Kingly of The Floridian Investment Group."The salt water lagoons are ideal for raising these reptiles" said Kingly. "The constant flushing of the system to and from the bay makes it one of the best locations we have found yet"Keep your pets and small children awayKingly warns residents along the lagoon system to be careful when in their backyards barbecuing. "It's just asking for trouble" said Joe...
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By Mary Smartt, Smartt Moves with Mary Smartt
(Lawton Associates / www.LawtonAssociates.com)
Well, I'm back from a little break. This time we hit the Rhine River from Amsterdam to Frankfurt with stops in Dusseldorf, Cologne and more. Now, back to the real estate market...and real estate blogging!I love Ikea as much as the next person, but sometimes you need something a little different. One of the great ways to find unique and affordable home decor ideas is to hit the Alameda Point Antique and Collector's Faire. This where many of the East Bay's top interior designers and home stagers get their goods, so why shouldn't you have a chance at them, too?I've been meaning to write about the Alameda Point Antique and Collector's Faire for quite some time, but now I don't have to because the SF Chronicle has just run a terrific article about the place. It is a great read full of tips a...
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By Urle Andoy
(Samaritan Partners)
Facing foreclosure? Needs immediate cash for your home equity? Then, Samaritan Partners is the solution to your problem! Samaritan Partners give options to homeowners having trouble with their property mortgages, with the Real Estate Leasing; Samaritan Partners will help you solve your problem. What is Real Estate leasing? Real Estate leasing is to rent and occupy a property, might it be a house, an apartment, condos, buildings, etc, for a definite period of time and for a certain amount of money as agreed between the lessee and the lesser. Business owners and home owners alike could avail of this real estate leasing. For some, real estate leasing is a better option for a business owner because there is a possibility that a thriving business in a local situation will be bought out a by ...
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By Michael Greenslade
(Better Homes & Gardens | Mason-McDuffie Real Estate)
Alameda's history so much revolves around the resort era and San Franciscans summering here across the bay.  It would be nice to honor that history with something that brings it back.I would like to toss the idea out that it is possible to create a modern tribute to Neptune Beach's history.A company called LANDRY restaurants built a restaurant complex called the Kemah Boardwalk near Houston Texas. Landry's which owns, Cadillac Bar & Grill, Rainforest Cafe, Aquarium, Saltgrass Steakhouse, Joe's Crab Shack and The Chart House located all these concepts together with some boardwalk styled attractions, shops and even a hotel.Landry's could do something similar with the area just to the west of the town center in the area near the current McDonald's, County Court House and Post office.Here i...
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By Michael Greenslade
(Better Homes & Gardens | Mason-McDuffie Real Estate)
I am doing some floor time here and came across the following article in the Alameda Journal.  Here's the link to the article on online.  I am not sure how long it will be up at this web address.http://www.contracostatimes.com/alamedajournal/ci_8075959?nclick_check=1Just in case I'll try to summarize what the article states.*** Once code compliance is applied against the property amnesty is no longer available.*** The amnesty program legalizes, currently undocumented construction. which may still need to be made code compliant for safety.*** To apply go to the following website www.ci.alameda.ca.us/planning/planningdocuments.html*** A $40.00 fee for the amnesty program*** A physical inspection is needed.*** An additional $210.00 inspection fee for projects accepted into the amnesty prog...
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